Digital Retro is a trip down memory lane and while we don't normally review books here at, with this title, we just couldn't resist.

The premise by Gordon Laing, the author, is to re-unite us with the computers of a bygone era. Starting with the MITS Altair 8800 in 1975 and taking us through history to the NeXT Cube in 1988 the book covers plenty of bases including Atari and Acorn models along the way (why do they always name these things with capital A?).

Laing covers 44 computers in total, and each one gets its own spread with plenty of pictures to reminisce over. Unlike previous books that have covered the subject, this is a picture led affair rather than something that is too text heavy.

The downside is that for some hardcore fans of computers gone by, the decision to base the spreads on images rather than words may lead to them wanting more. For us however the balance was just right.

In fact the only grumble we did have with the overall design of the book was the intrusive page numbers, which only served to confuse the page layout rather than help it. Do we really need a page number bigger than the headline of the product in question?


This is coffee table computing at its finest and Laing has done well to balance the information with the pictures of the models in question. It will certainly have those digital memories flooding back. As it ends in 1988, that leaves another 17 years and therefore probably two more volumes to follow.

The catch? It might make you feel old. Can it really be 28 years since Dad brought home a Tandy RadioShack TRS-80.

You can find out more about which computers are included in the book on its website -